Titus: Identity and the Gospel

Titus 1:1-4

This week we turn to the book of Titus.  The book was written by Paul to a man named Titus who served alongside Paul and worked in the regions of Corinth, Crete, and Dalmatia.  The issues addressed by Paul in this book concern Titus’s work in Crete.  Paul gives instruction to Titus as he plants the seeds of true faith in the churches in Crete.

What do you find your identity in? Do you find your identity in your job?  Is it found in your social status or your address?  Do you find your identity in your skills or your talents?  In the greeting that Paul uses to begin the letter to Titus we see that he finds his identity in his faith and in his calling to serve his God.

While our inclination is to find our identity in our possessions or our circumstances, our identity as Christians should be found in our relationship with God that was made possible through Jesus.  We see this clearly in Paul’s greeting which is much more than a greeting.  In this greeting Paul lays out a concise depiction of the Gospel and how he sees himself as one chosen by God to spread this good news.

Paul is a servant of God and an apostle of Christ.  The purpose of his calling is to spread the knowledge of truth to those who come to faith in Christ.  This knowledge is the truth of the Gospel and the call for godliness that accompanies this truth.  Paul seeks to lead people to faith through sharing the good news.  As people come to faith, Paul then helps them come to a fuller knowledge of the gospel and its theological depth and practical applications which will then lead to godliness.  An effect of this life lived to godliness is that the elect live in a hope that God promised from eternity–the promise of an eternal life with Him.

Paul tells Titus that this is the message that has been entrusted to him to share by the command of Christ.  Perhaps it would be helpful to let you know that this is also the message that has been entrusted to you to share–by the command of Christ.  We too are messengers of this amazing news.  Why do we not always see it that way?  Why don’t we see ourselves as people whose identity is found in being messengers of this good news?  Perhaps we don’t share it because we don’t feel like we have the proper amount of knowledge of truth that Paul refers to.  Then let’s commit to learning about the most important thing in the world.  Perhaps we don’t see ourselves as a people who are called to share because we see it as the work of professionals who are paid to minister and evangelize.  Then perhaps we need to see things differently.

We are disciples and disciple-makers.  We are the evangelized and the evangelists.  It just makes sense this way.  We experience the gospel and then we become a part of it as we live it out and share it with a world who needs this good news.  May we find our identity in being a people who has been sent to be the messengers of hope to a hopeless world.

Reflection and Action
Take inventory for a few minutes of your desire to share the gospel with the world.  Do you truly feel like you need to grow in your knowledge of God and his truth?  Commit to taking steps to learn, but know that sharing your story of faith is a powerful way to share the gospel, even if you have not figured out all of the ins and outs.  Maybe you simply have not felt the urgency or perhaps you have not seen yourself as a messenger.  Take time to ask God to put people in your life even today that you can share the good news with.  We live in a hurting world, and God is calling you to be His messenger.